Creative Ideas For Covering Your Windows

Windows make a big impact on a home when we allow them to. Sometimes they're so beautiful, it's a shame to cover them up. When covering is a necessity, traditional coverings are often boring, and homeowners are left frustrated wondering what to do. 

According to House Beautiful, when the view is glorious, it's okay to leave the windows uncovered so you can enjoy it. They also mention a few other reasons not to cover windows, such as the bones of the window or trim being too lovely to hide or when there's little natural light, and you need all the exposure you can get. 

Try some creative ideas for covering your windows fully or partially so you can see plenty of the window while still adding a unique touch. Just like all of home decorating, let your personality shine in the way you dress or undress your windows. Make it fun and unique, just like you and the rest of your home.

1. Make use of vintage tablecloths and aprons

If you're a treasure hunter who stops at every flea market they see, you can put those old apron or tablecloth collections to use. You don't have to have a vintage-style kitchen to repurpose precious old textiles. They add charm to any design. 

According to Visit Southern West Virginia, many antique hunters are drawn to older items because it connects them to their past. If you can't pass up a cherry spotted apron from the 1950s, it may be because your grandma had one, or your mom kept some on hand that reminded her of her own grandmother. These items bring us comfort as they help us reminisce and dream of often simpler times. Colorful mid-century-modern tablecloths and aprons from any era are easily hung as a valance or curtain. Using screws, hang a little clothesline across the top of the window, and you're your pieces with clothespins. You can also purchase a curtain rod that has clips to easily hang the aprons or tablecloth. No sewing and super cute!

2. Frosted glass is always a classic

Frosted glass has the ability to fit many different styles. The soft, subtle look goes well with traditional, artsy, modern, rustic, and eclectic homes. If you're wondering what frosted glass is, according to Master Class, it's any glass with an opaque finish that isn't transparent. 

One of the great benefits of frosted glass is its ability to filter light. You still receive sunlight through the window, but it's softer and not as bright. Also, it's difficult for outsiders to peer through your frosted glass window, yet from the inside, your window feels uncovered because there's still plenty of light coming in. It's a win-win situation. 

Here's some more good news ... you can create your own frosted glass. There are many DIY projects for it, including the use of frosting sheets that simply adhere to your window, or frosting spray paint. Create designs, patterns, or a solid frosted window. Let your creativity flow and your windows frost.

3. A fun wooden sign

Signs are always in style, so why not draw attention to one over your window? A fun sign creates a unique accent while leaving plenty of openness to the window. Let a sign hanging from the window show your sense of humor, your sensitive side, or maybe an inspirational quote. You don't even have to run out and buy a sign. You can make your own. 

According to Lovely Etc, all you need is a piece of wood, wood stain if desired, craft paint, a variety of brushes, including a brush or small roller, a printout or stencil of your design, and paint pens. Simply cover the wood in stain or paint, then stencil or freehand the words or design you want for your sign. Let dry and cover with varnish, so it's easier to clean. 

Hang a wooden sign with chains, rope, or twine. Make sure if it's a heavy sign, it's secured well when hanging. You can even create or buy several signs and switch them out for each season, so you never get bored. Get creative and have some fun with signs and your windows.

4. Southern style with shutters

You don't have to be a southern belle to decorate with shutters. They're a great alternative to traditional window coverings, and nothing brings more charm to a home. Shutters bring our minds to warm beaches and tropical islands, the deep south, and times past. Although often used as storm protection on exterior windows in hurricane locations, shutters work hard on the interior as well. 

We love them because they're beautiful, but shutters serve a few purposes as well. According to Better Homes and Gardens, shutters allow for privacy and are easily adjusted to allow in as much or as little light as you want, they're easy to clean, and the classic style never becomes outdated. If you need one more reason to consider shutters, they also go well with every home design. You can choose slatted or not slatted, and color options are never-ending. Contemporary, cottage style, modern farmhouse, or rustic –- simple shutters suit them all.

5. Folding screens are easy to move around

Small folding screens are super easy to use when you have a good size windowsill to set one on. For lower or floor-to-ceiling windows, tall screens work well too. They come in many designs and colors, making them a flexible solution. 

According to Realtor, designers today are using screens to hide clutter and separate open spaces, and they also say, if you need to cover a window but don't want to make the space look smaller due to lack of light, consider a rice paper screen. These screens are designed with thin rice paper, which diffuses the light as it comes through the window, allowing the brightness you needed for your space while still giving you privacy. Screens add to your décor as well. There's something sophisticated about a mysterious screen. Is there something hiding behind it? Only you will ever know.

There may not be an easier option to instantly gain a little privacy from your windows than with a screen. And the best part is, you can move them quickly and change them out any time. 

6. Hang plants and watch them grow

Windows are the perfect spot for a plant collection. Plants enjoy the sunshine, and you can enjoy watching them grow as they give you just the right amount of privacy. Macrame made its debut in the 70s, and homes became greenhouses with macrame plant hangers in every window. Well, they're back, and a quick search on Amazon will bring up a variety of plant hangers, including the infamous Boho style, macrame ones. 

However you choose to display your plants in your window, kwik-hang recommends using a curtain rod of your choice and then adding the right size hooks to hang plants from it, or using the proper anchors, hang your plants from the ceiling, so they come down in front of the window. Hang as many or as few as you desire, depending on how much of the window you want covered. Keep in mind, eventually the plants will grow and may cover more than you expected.

7. Shelves for your collections

Display your fun coffee mug collection or anything else you like on a few shelves across a window. Glass shelves give the illusion of floating items and allow more light to shine through the window. Wood shelves go well with many different décors and bring warmth to your window area. Either way, it's essential to first understand what type of window frame you have before you start hanging shelves. 

According to SFGate, a window that's recessed and finished with drywall or surrounded by wood trim can support as many shelves as you need. However, a window trimmed in aluminum or vinyl may not work well when drilled, so consult with the manufacturer of your trim first. Shelves are another option to display a plant collection or to set some smaller wooden signs on. For antique lovers, they are the perfect place for your collections of little trinkets and treasures. Space shelves and fill them with items according to how much you want the window covered.

8. Faux stained glass for an elegant look

Stained glass is colorful and something you aren't likely to see in everyone's home. It lets the sunshine in yet offers privacy. Imagine a neutral or all-white room, with one window covered in colorful stained glass ... stunning. 

There are two options for a faux stained-glass window. First, you can buy a piece of stained glass and hang it over your window. Second, you can create your own design directly on the window. The thought of creating your own may sound terrifying, but don't fear. The beauty of faux stained glass and any art, really, is that no one else sees your mistakes. It's all part of the end design. 

At any craft store, you can find craft paints dedicated to creating faux stained glass at home (glass paint). According to A Beautiful Mess, when using glass paint, remember to apply thick coats of paint because it settles in better than thin coats. If you ever tire of your creation, some warm soapy water and a razor does the trick to remove faux stained glass. 

9. Bring the herb garden inside

Herb plants don't take up a lot of space, so bring them inside and enjoy the sights and fresh smells. Hang plants across your window or install shelves and watch your garden grow. 

For a window treatment, herb gardens are super handy in a kitchen window. Practice your professional chef skills as you snip a little fresh basil for your spaghetti sauce. You don't just gain fresher ingredients from an indoor herb garden, but you save money on spices, enjoy incredible smells from your fresh herbs, and can feel satisfied knowing you're making good use of the space in your home. 

According to Eating Well, the herbs that thrive best indoors are basil, rosemary, chives, mint, parsley, oregano, and thyme. You can find ready-to-grow herb garden kits at many home improvement stores or online. If you're up for the challenge, create your herb garden from scratch with small pots that drain and some seed packs. The natural light from your window will help the herbs flourish.

10. Take your scarves out of your closet

Scarves used to add beauty to your wardrobe can add beauty to your windows as well. Simply add a rod and drape scarves over it. You can also tie each scarf around a rod for a fun style you won't see in many other homes. Play around with the scarves until you get the look you want. 

Another option with a scarf is to hang it just as you would a swag valance. According to Overstock, this is easily done using scarf hooks that are placed above the window frame. You only need a couple of hooks for a small window or several for a large one, in which you could tie several scarves together and hang them like a swag. Use silk, flannel, or any material you have for scarves to create these simple designs. The wonderful thing about a scarf valance is it is a way to upcycle rather than let your old scarves get thrown away, and the design allows plenty of light in from the window while still dressing it up.

11. Colorful ribbon to create a garland

Collect all those scraps of ribbon from undone craft projects, or head to the craft store to choose a few favorite colors and turn them into a funky ribbon garland valance. You can make the garland as neat and tidy or loose and whimsical as you like. According to The Sweetest Digs, the length of each ribbon doesn't matter, so feel free to make them all even or go with random sizes for a fringed look. 

You simply cut as many pieces as you need according to the window size (lay the ribbons out until you get the length you like). Then attach the ribbons to a string by tying a knot at the top. A couple of small nails at the window frame are all that's needed to hang your new ribbon garland. The possibilities are limitless with ribbon garlands. Use lace sand burlap for a Boho look, colorful ribbon for a child's room, or soft flannel strips for a rustic vibe.

12. Vintage style feed sacks

Feed sacks offer a kitschy, comforting feeling to any room. Their faded softness adds just the right amount of texture, no matter what your style is. You can't go wrong using feed, grain, or flour sacks as part of your farmhouse, rustic, or cottage décor. According to Amy Barickman, these old sacks were made from canvas, beginning in the 1800s, to use as a way to ship items. Certainly, when they were created, no one could have guessed the treasured canvas would be wildly popular today. Sure, you can buy new canvas, but it won't have a faded picture of a feed advertisement or the stamp of a date from days gone by. If you're sentimental, you'll love seeing these treasures adorning your windows. The best part is that it's super easy to make happen. 

If you already have some sort of curtain rod hanging, simply drape the bag over the rod. You can also cut the canvas as needed to sew it into a valance if sewing is your gift. Also, using the clothesline and clothespin trick (hang a small piece of clothesline at the window frame) is a quirky little way to make your feed sack valance a conversation starter.

13. Display your favorite artwork

Running out of places to hang all the art you love? Have you considered your windows? Cover as much or as little as you like with artwork over a window. Attach a canvas or framed artwork to the window's trim or hang from hooks on the ceiling, and voila ... you have a decorated window that gives just a hint of privacy and the perfect amount of light. 

According to Apartment Therapy, hanging artwork on a window draws our eyes to a place we wouldn't expect them to go. Windows are just windows, but when adorned with artwork, they're suddenly a focal point of the room. The backlight from the window can enhance artwork and give it a new look you haven't noticed before as it just hung on a wall. Each piece of artwork is unique. It only makes sense to hang each one in a unique way as well.

14. Pick your drop cloth up off the floor

Drop cloths are the perfect color and texture for homes with a cottage style, modern farmhouse, or French country design. Their superpower is that they look like linen but cost way less. You can pick up a canvas drop cloth for under $20. 

Many DIYers have found that drop cloths make beautiful slipcovers and decorative pillows, and now they're becoming popular as a quick window covering too. The best part? You can cover your windows in a day with drop cloths and never see a needle and thread. For those who can't sew a straight hem, this is good news. 

According to The Design Twins, all you need in your toolbelt is a tape measurer and your handy dandy hot glue gun. After choosing your drop cloth or drop cloths, measure to see the length you need. Hem using hot glue rather than sewing, then use a curtain rod that has clips so you can easily hang your new curtains up. If you don't even want to mess with hot glue, fold the drop cloth over the rod and then clip. For a softer look, wash and iron the drop cloths first.